School choice students to be welcomed again at Old Rochester Regional

Mar 29, 2022

School choice students from outside the Tri-Town will once again be welcomed into the Old Rochester Regional school district, members of the regional school committee agreed unanimously Wednesday, March 23.

The committee agreed with Superintendent of Schools Michael Nelson's recommendation that no more than 125 students be included in the school choice program in the 2022-2023 school year.

This number reflects the current parameters, he said.

Preference will be given to students in grades 7, 8 and 9. Students are encouraged to enter those grades to allow them to become “part of the school culture’’ at as early an age as possible, Nelson said.

No more than 18 students will be accepted into seventh grade. 

There are currently 11 school choice students in grade 7; 12 in grade 8; 17 in grade 9; 13 in grade 10; 20 in grade 11; and 25 in grade 12.

The district has already received 37 applicants for the 2022-2023 school year, Nelson said.

Any new school choice students would fill open slots from students who have graduated or otherwise left the district. The state’s school choice program allows students to attend school in any district if the school committee approves. Once accepted, school choice students remain in the district through graduation.

A lottery will be held by late April to randomly select students from the applications received, Nelson said. 

“By having the appropriate number of students, we’re able to create more broader offerings’’ for all students, committee member James Muse said. 

The school choice students, he said, have “added to the quality [of the district] just by their presence.’’